Short summary - Mauprat
George Sand - Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin
Micro-narrative: The ancient family of Mopra, consisting of an older, noble branch (Hubert de Mopra and his beautiful daughter Edme), a middle branch, the only representative of which is young Bernard de Mopra, a handsome man, an orphan, kidnapped and raised by members of the younger, criminal branch of the family - Tristan de Mopra and his relatives, who bear the nickname "Mopra-murderers" ... By a fatal accident of fate, representatives of all three branches once crossed ...
The novel tells about the life of representatives of two branches of small feudal lords Mopra - descendants of the ancient feudal family of the French province of Berry. The eldest branch of the clan consists of the fierce and cruel Tristan de Mopra, who squandered his fortune and disgraced the name of the clan, his eight sons and the only grandson Bernard (whose father - the only of Tristan's sons was married), who was left an orphan at the age of seven. They participate in acts of arbitrariness, robbery, cruelty and licentiousness, for which they received the nickname "Mopra Murderers", and live in a gloomy abandoned dilapidated medieval family castle Rosh-Mopra.
The younger branch of the clan consists of only two members - Hubert de Mopra and his only daughter Edmé. Hubert de Moprá was nicknamed "Chevalier" for the fact that he belonged to the Order of Malta for some time and was as kind and fair as his cousin Tristan - vicious and cruel. When Bernard de Mopra was born, Hubert asked his parents to give the child to him for upbringing and was ready to make Bernard his heir, which Bernard learned many years later. But Bernard's father was accidentally killed while hunting, and his grandfather rejected Hubert's offer, stating that his sons were the only legitimate heirs of the younger branch of the family and he would oppose with all his might that the estate of Hubert was bequeathed to Bernard. Hubert broke off all relations with the eldest branch of the Mopra clan, and soon he had an only daughter named Solange-Edmond, who is often called "Edmé" by his relatives.
Once, for unknown reasons, the horse of 17-year-old Edme was carried away, and the girl got lost in the forest, falling into the Rosh-Mopra castle. 18-year-old Bernard, despite the fact that he was raised as a savage and a robber who does not recognize any laws except the right of the strong, falls under the spell of his cousin and helps her escape from the castle of Rosh-Mopra, having previously obtained from her a promise to marry him, threatening rape. So Bernard first enters the castle of Saint-Sever, where he meets his uncle, Hubert de Mopra, who accepted him as his own son, thanked him for saving his daughter and offered to stay with them. At first, here for Bernard everything is new and unusual, because in the evenings the inhabitants of Saint-Sever are fond of reading and discussing Rousseau, Montesquieu, Condillac, playing music, and mutual understanding, wisdom, patience, kindness and care reign in their family. Edmé, under the guidance of his spiritual mentor, Abbot Aubert, decides to educate his cousin, teaches reading and writing, helps to overcome bad habits, and believes that over time, Bernard will be able to break with the past and become an educated and worthy person.
Jean le U, nicknamed Solitaire (or Patience), lives next to the castle of Saint-Sevère - a middle-aged peasant with a decisive character, the only one in the district who is not afraid of the robbers Mopra. Solitaire is a village philosopher, carried away by Epictetus and Rousseau, professing revolutionary ideas, faith in good deeds, in a responsive human heart. Edmé and Solitaire help the poor and talk on philosophical topics. (During the years of the revolution, Solitaire will play a prominent role, will be elected a judge in Varenna. Solitaire is one of the most famous characters in all of George Sand's work in general, into whose mouth the writer put many of her ideas). In the neighborhood of Saint-Sever also lives Marcas - an elderly peasant, nicknamed "the rat-catcher", as well as "hidalgo", "Don Marcas" for his innate nobility and honesty. Marcas helps Edma and Solitaire in their good deeds and immediately becomes sympathetic to Bernard (later he will serve him faithfully until his death).
Thanks to the positive influence of the inhabitants of Saint-Sever, Bernard develops, receives a versatile education, begins to visit high society in Paris. Bernard passionately falls in love with his cousin, recalls her promise in Rosh-Mopra and asks her to marry him, but the girl has long been engaged to Lieutenant de la Marsh, and at first she feels nothing but pity, sometimes mixed with horror. and contempt.
With grief, hoping to forget Edme and wanting to participate in the social and political events of his time, Bernard leaves for America, where, in the ranks of the army, La Fayette takes part in the American War of Independence. In America, Bernard meets Arthur - a cheerful young scientist, a kind and fair man. Communication with Arthur often spilled a healing balm on Bernard's tortured heart when he despaired and yearned for his homeland and loved ones. Young people have become best friends, brothers in spirit and comrades in arms. (Subsequently, Arthur never married, although he had nothing against the idea of a harmonious family, but preferred to devote his life to science and work, as well as caring for friends. Arthur settled in Philadelphia, where Bernard visited him many years later, after as a widow).
Unable to forget his homeland and his girlfriend, Bernard seven years later returns to France, again confesses his love to Edma and again asks her to marry him. Once, while hunting in the forest, a stormy explanation occurs between the young people, which ends in a quarrel. Edmé mounts a horse and drives off, and the distressed Bernard leaves on foot in the forest in the other direction. After a while, the girl is found unconscious, badly wounded from Bernard's hunting rifle. He is arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Despite the wound, Edme comes to the court to testify, confesses his love for Bernard in front of everyone and tries to prove that he could not shoot her. Despite the death sentence threatening him, Bernard had never felt so happy in his life. However, he still doubts Edme's feelings, thinking that she can exaggerate the degree of her affection for him just because she regrets and tries to save him.
Mademoiselle LeBlanc - Edmé's maid and companion, who disliked and feared Bernard since he appeared in Saint-Sevère - slanders him during the trial, after which Edmé breaks with her, and M. LeBlanc leaves for another province, where he lives comfortably , as a result of which the inhabitants of Saint-Sever realize that M. LeBlanc has paid well for perjury in court. Marcas is the only friend who refuses to believe in Bernard's guilt even during the trial. Solitaire, who first believed in Bernard's guilt, accidentally learns that Jean and Antoine de Mopra, who had long been considered dead in a fire along with their father Tristan de Mopra and their brothers, are alive. Solitaire tracked them down and found out that Jean and Antoine had made a plan to murder Bernard and Edmé, trying to take possession of the inheritance of the Mopra clan, and also out of hatred of young lovers. Solitaire proves in court that Edmé was shot by Antoine de Mopra, who is arrested and sentenced to death by wheel. Jean de Mopra fled, took monastic vows, trying to beg forgiveness from God for his crimes, lost his mind and died a few years later in a remote monastery.
Bernard is released, Edmé is gradually recovering thanks to the care of relatives, as well as Arthur, a friend of Bernard, who came to visit him and took an active part in the defense of Bernard at the trial and in the treatment of Edmé. Unable to withstand the last tragic events that happened to his daughter, Hubert de Mopra dies. After the end of mourning, Edmé and Bernard got married and lived in a happy, harmonious marriage for many years. When Edme passed away, Bernard grieved the death of his beloved wife. He continued to live for the sake of children, from time to time taking part in the social and political events of his time. Gradually, Bernard de Mopra became one of the respected people in the district, and four of his six surviving children occupied a worthy position in society.